Let’s be honest, even the strongest couples go through trials that put the relationship on the brink of breaking up. But why do some find themselves able to overcome disagreements, while others rush to burn the bridges?

To stay or leave is a question that torments at least one of the partners in a great many couples. Every day, every hour, right this very second. Meanwhile, psychologists advise asking other questions. The answers to which will help you come to the right decision.

1. What did you expect from love?

Usually, this question is replaced by another – “Do I still love him (her)?” But the answer is too often dictated by popular culture myths. In Which love is when your partner understands you without words and anticipates all your desires. In real life, things are different. And above all, you should soberly admit: if your relationship is in crisis, then exactly half of the blame for this lies with you. 

“People do not come to a relationship from scratch, they carry with them a load of previously accumulated problems. And they unconsciously expect their partner to do it all by magic. And when this does not happen, they become very upset and believe that the relationship has not justified itself, ”says Jody McKay, clinical psychologist, an expert in Psychologies (South Africa). 

She recommends that lovers be sober in their expectations. And strive for that level of intimacy when everyone can fearlessly tell their partner about their emotional wounds. Only in this case can you count on a loved one to help heal them.

2. What do you want to get rid of?

You can leave a partner to whom you have grown cold, but you will never be able to escape from yourself. Therefore, try to figure out what does not suit you in the first place. It is possible that the answer lies in yourself. “For example, people who are used to being strong and in control are unconsciously prone to choosing weak and dependent partners,” explains couple therapy specialist Myra Viege. – Thus, they strive to find balance in life. But as a result, one day it is the weakness and vulnerability of partners that turn out to be the qualities that start to annoy the most. ” And this can continue indefinitely, until a person admits to himself that weakness is not a mortal sin at all. And that he himself, apparently, should sometimes allow himself to be weak. Once this happens,

3. Are you sure you can live independently?

Very often the thought of loneliness scares women even more than a marriage that has long outlived its usefulness. Are you afraid not to cope alone with life’s difficulties? Or does it scare you that you won’t be able to meet a new suitable partner? If the answer is “yes”, then, oddly enough, the existing relationship should, apparently, end as soon as possible, – says psychotherapist Ruthie Smith. “The more you become dependent on another person, the more you lose faith in yourself and the ability to take responsibility for your life.” And for your happiness, for which, ultimately, only you and no one else is responsible.

4. Can you survive cheating?

For most couples, adultery is more than enough reason for divorce. But Myra Viege disagrees. As with the very first question, she invites you to honestly admit that it is your fault that your partner began to seek pleasure on the side. “Perhaps you are inclined to“ punish ”your partner with the absence of an intimate life for any offenses? Or does he not feel admiration on your part, for which the first months of life together were generous and which in fact we all need all the time? ” If two are able to understand what happened and agree on the inevitable redistribution of roles in a couple over the years, then betrayal may not only not destroy the relationship, but also strengthen them.

5. How will you feel if your partner dies today?

Perhaps this sounds too harsh and even shocking. But such “shock therapy” can be very helpful. Parting is often pushed by momentary reasons and emotions. Sharp and painful here and now, they are not too important “in the long run”, but they are quite capable of overshadowing the true value of relationships from us. Which you need to remind yourself – albeit in such a harsh way.

6. What will your new life look like?

The question is purely practical, but no less important from this. Who will cook food or pick up the children from school, who will fix a broken socket or finally change winter tires for summer ones – even if only in May? “We often think of getting out of an oppressive relationship as liberation. But freedom not only has a price, it also imposes an additional responsibility, ”recalls Jody McKay. She encourages her clients to make a detailed plan for the future “day at large”, not missing out on any trifles. In order to understand how they are ready to cope with the daily life worries that today lie on the shoulders of a partner.

7. Should your happiness outweigh the sadness of others?

The answer is unequivocal – yes. You must put your interests first. And the question is actually not at all, but how you do it, – Myra Viege is convinced. She cites the example of couples who continue to maintain a long-hated marriage in the interests of children. But the trouble is that children in such couples, looking at parents who have not loved each other for a long time, receive an unconscious attitude: their own happiness is not important, they can and should be sacrificed for the sake of some higher interests. 

And we, from generation to generation, raise people, knowingly willing to be unhappy. This chain should be broken. But this should be done as carefully as possible. Explaining to the children that the reason for the separation is not at all in them and the divorce will not affect your feelings for them in any way. You just, like them, want to be happy. And if that succeeds, then ultimately everyone will win.